03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Best Theatre of 2009

In 2000, my first year living in New York City, I attended over 200 different theater productions. This year, I clocked in barely a hundred. Below are my top five in no particular order.

  • In The Next Room or the vibrator play: A beautiful production (directed by Les Walters) that examines the marriage of a doctor who invented an early electric vibrator. Sarah Ruel offers a smart and funny look at how technology can affect our personal lives on many levels. Currently playing at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre, closes Jan. 10th.
  • Surrender: The International WOW Company produced this fully immersive military experience. The cast led the audience through basic training (complete with push ups) and into a simulated war environment. Afterwards, we're integrated back into society. While occasionally a tad heavy-handed, it was a profound experience. Performed Jan. 7th to Jan. 25th. Read my interview with director Josh Fox.
  • The Temperamentals: A fascinating Mad Men-esq look at Harry Hay, an often forgotten character in gay history, and the early Los Angeles gay rights movement. Reopening at New World Stages on Feb. 10th, prior limited run June, 10th '09 through Aug. 23rd 2009.
  • Ruined: A powerful tale of women struggling to live in the Congo won the Pulitzer Price and deserved a Broadway transfer. Performed Feb. 10th to Sept 6th at Manhattan Theatre Club.
  • My Wonderful Day: Alan Ayckbourn's new play is a surprisingly contemporary tale from a 70-year-old playwright/director. Ayesha Antoine's winning performance as an 8 year-old observing adult chaos was a delight. Played Nov. 11th - Dec. 13th at 59E59 Theaters.
  • Looking forward to what New York City theatre has to offer in the year & decade ahead.